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The U.S. Patent Act of 1952[1] simplified and clarified language and arrangement, and eliminated obsolete and redundant provisions in existing U.S. patent law. It also effected substantive changes. The major substantive changes were the incorporation of the requirement for invention and the judicial doctrine of contributory infringement in 35 U.S.C. §§103 and 271, respectively.

Subject to numerous amendments over the years, the Act originally divided the patent law into three parts.

  • Part I — Patent and Trademark Office (formerly the Patent Office) contains provisions governing that Office, its powers and duties, and related matters.
  • Part II — Patentability of Invention and Grant of Patents sets out the conditions under which patents may be obtained and the procedure for doing so.
  • Part III — Patents and Protection of Patent Rights relates to the patents themselves and the protection of rights under patents.

A later amendment[2] added

  • Part IV — Patent Cooperation Treaty. The Patent Cooperation Treaty, signed by 35 countries by December 31, 1970, simplifies the filing of patent applications on the same invention in different countries by providing, among other things, centralized filing procedures and a standardized application format. It helps expand established programs of American industry to file foreign patent applications as well as encourages smaller businesses and individual investors to become more active in seeking patent protection abroad.

Other amendments to Title 35 concern the change of name of the Patent Office to the Patent and Trademark Office, revised fee schedules for application and issue of patents, and modifications in procedures related to the protection of patents.


  1. Act July 19, 1952 , c. 950, 66 Stat. 792, codified as Title 35 of the United States Code, entitled "Patents."
  2. Pub. L. No. 94-131, Nov. 14, 1975, 89 Stat. 685.